How to use 70 synchronized servo axes to build a better mousetrap

Servo drive technology replaces machinery

“Looking at the history of automation, we have to recognize the foundations that are taken for granted today,” explains Gratacos. “Eighty years ago, mechanically driven machines were quite common, usually driven by motors and connected by gears, crankshafts and cams. These were Inventions still drive our innovation today, but these machines predate 3D CAD, CNC machining, and software. With today’s technology, mechanical machine parts are replaced with multi-axis servo motion and controlled more reliably and flexibly by software.

As a classic example, consider Mitec Enginy’s latest application—the mousetrap. “Customers need to modernize product manufacturing to stay competitive, so we designed an appropriate approach to achieve this goal,” Gratacos said. “At first, the idea of ​​precisely synchronizing around 70 servo axes sounded almost crazy, but it turned out to be the right solution for complex process sequences, and we were able to achieve it using PC-based control from Beckhoff.”

The system relies on 61 AX51xx and AX52xx servo drives and 67 AM80xx servo motors to power various process steps. On the software side, TwinCAT 3 with cam function (TF5050 TwinCAT 3 NC Camming) ensures precisely synchronized motion sequences.

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